Orange Juice Producers Seek Alternate Fruit Amid Shortage


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a cold glass of orange juice to start the morning, especially in the summer. But juice lovers might be saying goodbye to breakfast as they know it.

In recent months, Brazil, the largest exporter of orange juice in the world, has been experiencing a bacterial infection of citrus plants known as “greening.”

So far, there is no cure for citrus greening once it has affected a plant.

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Coupled with extreme heat and adverse climate conditions, the Brazilian orange market is expected to hit record production lows in 2024 and 2025.

According to Reuters, citing data from research firm Fundecitrus, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais (the main areas of Brazil where oranges are produced) are only expected to produce roughly 232 million boxes of 40 kg of oranges — a 24.36% decrease from the year prior, and the lowest level of production since the 1988 to 1989 harvest year.

Florida, the largest producer of orange juice in the U.S., is also facing issues with output due to greening and adverse weather conditions.

As a result, orange juice prices have shot up, and producers have steered away from making pure orange juice, seeking other fruits to help offset the low supply.

“A lot of [producers] will be changing the quantities of juice they are putting in their blends to drop the orange juice and increase other juices, such as pear juice, apple juice, grape juice, so they are less reliant on the orange juice,” Harry Campbell, a commodity market data analyst at research group Mintec told CNBC. “Until that point is reached where consumers are no longer willing to pay the premium for orange juice because it is at such low supply, prices will continue to drive up.”

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On Wednesday, the benchmark frozen concentrated orange juice futures closed at $4.77 per pound — a record high.

According to Statista, the average price of orange juice in the U.S. in December 2023 was $3.72, up from $2.34 at the same time in 2019.

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